True wireless headphones are becoming increasingly common, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all worth buying. The latest pair of true wireless headphones are the Jam Live True headphones, which come in at a very affordable $80.
Considering their price, are they a good buy? Or should you save your money and go for something else? We put the Jam Live True headphones to the test to find out.
While many true wireless headphones have more or less the same design, the same can’t be said for the Jam Live True headphones. Both the headphones and the charging case, for example, feature a nice fabric-like texture, helping them look and feel more familiar and inviting.
The earbuds themselves feature a basic symmetrical design with a button on each earbud and magnetic pins on the bottom for charging. We like the basic look to the headphones — it’s minimalistic and classy.
Placing the headphones into the charging case is pretty easy, though it’s not as automatic as others. You will need to guide the headphones into the case a little, but once they’re more or less in the right spot they should click into place.
Speaking of the charging case, it’s also very nice-looking. The outside has the same fabric feeling to it, and it’s easy to push the left end to slot out the seat for the earbuds. On the left end, you’ll also find a MicroUSB charging port and a USB port hidden behind a rubber door. The inclusion of the USB-A port is very nice — as it allows you to use the case to charge your phone or another device. We’re still hoping to see more USB-C ports on headphones in the near future, though it’s hard to get frustrated about that at this price point.
Apart from the headphones and charging case, in the box you’ll find MicroUSB cable and a total of 14 pairs of ear tips, including the ones that come installed on the headphones. We like that there’s such a selection of ear tips — it helps ensure that you can always find a pair that properly fits your ears.
As is always the case when it comes to in-ear headphones, it’s a good idea to experiment with the different ear tips to find the right size and fit. The pre-installed ear tips, for example, didn’t quite fit my ears — but a slightly smaller pair did. Doing so will ensure that the headphones are relatively comfortable, and that they properly stay in your ears.
Once you do find the right fit, the headphones are actually relatively comfortable. They’re not overly comfortable — in-ear headphones rarely are — but we found that it was easy to wear them for a while before they got too bad.
In the end, the most important thing to keep in mind is sound quality — and the Jam Live True headphones have a tough battle ahead of them. After all, when we reviewed the Jam Out There over-ear headphones, we found that the lackluster sound quality was the worst thing about them. Do the Jam Live True headphones fight back against that? Partly — but they could still do better.
The bass, for starters, is actually not bad. It’s thick and deep, and there’s decent extension, though extension could always be better. Kick drums punched through music relatively well, and bass guitars are given a pretty smooth tone.
That low-end boost extends into the low mids, where there’s a solid amount of warmth — something that’s always nice. The high mids, however, are where the sound quality start to take a hit. It seems like high mids have been seriously cut in comparison with the low mids, to where vocals can sometimes take a back seat.
High end was also pretty unimpressive. There’s nowhere near as much clarity or detail as we would have liked from these headphones. There is some high end response — but there could be a whole lot more of it.
Another issue we had is that the headphones can’t take too much before they start to distort. Even moderate volumes seem to produce some crackling, which is disappointing to hear.
Because of the fact that true wireless headphones are so small, they often struggle with battery life. We’ve found that low end true wireless headphones generally come in at around 3 hours of battery life on a charge, while higher end ones can range up to about 5 hours. So what about these? The Jam Live True headphones sit in the 3-hour camp, though the charging case gives the headphones up to 10 extra charges, which isn’t bad.
The Jam Live True headphones connect through an unspecified version of Bluetooth, which means you should get a wireless range of up to 10 meters, or 33 feet. We found that the headphones were generally decent at retaining a good connection, without too many skips or jumps.
The Jam Live True headphones have a lot to offer. They’re relatively inexpensive, nicely designed, and come with a ton of accessories. But there are a few downsides to the headphones that make them a little tough to recommend — namely that the sound quality really isn’t great.
Still, the fact remains that there simply aren’t many options in this price range. If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless headphones that have a nice design, then the Jam Live True headphones aren’t bad. If, however, you want a decent sound quality, we recommend saving up a little for headphones like the JLab Audio Epic Air or Soul X-Shock headphones, both of which come in at $150.
Still, because of their value for money, we’re awarding the Jam Live True headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||Unknown||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||3 Hours + 30 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||No||Case type||Charging case|